More than 25 Special Exhibitions from select regional, national, and international non-profit institutions, museums, and organizations are included in the third annual exposition. Joining 140 leading galleries representing 17 countries and 43 cities from around the world, EXPO’s Special Exhibitions programming offers unique, high quality exhibitions throughout Navy Pier’s iconic Festival Hall. Complementing the surrounding elements of the exposition, these programs illustrate and preserve the important relationship between contemporary and modern art and non-profit organizations.
Aperture Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing photography through Aperture magazine, photobooks, traveling exhibitions and educational programs, will present first copies of “The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip” by David Campany, featuring work by Robert Frank, Alec Soth, Stephen Shore, Ryan McGinley, Justine Kurland and other key photographers. Aperture will also present unique artists’ editions by young contemporary photographer Olivia Bee and Christopher Russell as well as pieces by Erwin Olaf, An-My Le, Gail Albert Halaban, Reinier Gerristen and LaToya Ruby Frazier—who will be signing her highly anticipated first monograph at the Aperture booth on Friday, Sept. 19 at 2pm. In addition, Justine Kurland, Alec Soth and Editor of “The Open Road” Denise Wolff will participate in EXPO /Dialogues “The Open Road” panel discussion on Sunday, Sept. 21.
Artadia supports visual artists with unrestricted, merit-based financial awards and fosters connections to an abundance of opportunities allowing artists to become part of a lifetime network of national support. In the past 15 years, Artadia has awarded over $3 million dollars to more than 275 artists in its participating award cities of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. At EXPO CHICAGO 2014, Artadia will present two separate large-scale installations by Jim Duignan (2008 Chicago Award Winner) and Jillian Conrad (2012 Houston Award Winner). Duignan, a professor of Visual Art in the College of Education at DePaul University, will present his recent work, “Lifeboat,” which pieces together materials from Chicago’s quietest spaces gathered over time from sites that are as sacred to him as they are secret. Through the mosaic of material and its long history as sites of interest, a token is revealed in the form of a boat that serves as a sublimation of formidable narratives long since forgotten. Jillian Conrad, an Assistant Professor in the Sculpture Department at the University of Houston, will present her recent work, “Long Division.” Using experimental compositions of unconventional materials such as “blobby bits” and scraps of cloth, Conrad hopes to draw formal connections between lines in terms of language, protocol and other paths and signals of communication that her project traces before the viewer.
One of the leading contemporary online art networks, ArtSlant provides information and access with global breadth and local depth. Now in its fifth year, the ArtSlant Prize program holds an annual open call where three to four juried artists are selected to exhibit at a major art fair in the United States. For EXPO CHICAGO, ArtSlant will produce Curator's Open, an international online contest among emerging curators. Users will submit their curations and a final juried proposal will be mounted at the exposition. The panel of judges, overseen by EXPO CHICAGO’s Director of Programming Patricia Courson, includes Independent Curator Audrey Illouz and DCCA Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art Maiza Hixson. Challenging the real, but ultimately immaterial proliferation of contemporary art viewable online, this exhibition gives physical form to the common practice of sorting images, and elevates it to a more concrete manifestation. Curator's Open gives users and viewers alike the chance to experience, and test, their online concepts in real time.
Bad at Sports (BAS) is a forum on multiple platforms known for their weekly podcasts and daily blog, featuring artists, curators and gallerists, among others talking about the Chicago art community and the art world at large. BAS will broadcast from their booth next to the /Dialogues stage on the main floor of the exposition on Saturday, Sept. 20 and Sunday, Sept. 21. Hosts Duncan MacKenzie and Richard Holland will field interviews and commentary from artists and curators for both their podcast and blog. In addition, and in conjunction with ArtSlant, BAS will take part in "The Pier Review," a daily gazette including local guides for visitors, interviews and reviews with insight into what's what, who's who, and enough gossip to keep everyone tuned into what's #trending. Furthermore, Bad at Sport’s booth will feature an innovative wallpaper installation.
Image Credit: Bad at Sports
A pioneer of the video art movement in the 1970s, Bill Viola continues to be a leading figure in contemporary art today. Viola’s video installations are immersive environments that employ state-of-the-art technologies to envelop the viewer in sound and image. His works focus on the themes of fundamental human experience such as birth, death and aspects of consciousness.
For EXPO CHICAGO, Viola will present a special version of “Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water),” an exhibition in four parts of the deeply contemplative work that has recently been installed in St. Paul’s Cathedral. As the first of two large-scale video installations commissioned by the Cathedral, the work will be shown at the cathedral on a long-term basis. Four vertical colour plasma screens are supported on a cast carbon steel stand designed by Norman Foster + Partners. At EXPO, the panels are presented in a specially designed room, shielded from all outside light and distractions. In 2015, Martyrs will be joined in the cathedral by a companion triptych on the subject of Mary. Once fully funded they will join the collection of Tate and be lent to St. Paul’s on a permanent basis.
Kira Perov, Executive Director of Bill Viola Studio, is Viola's partner and collaborator and has worked closely with Viola since 1979 creatively guiding and managing the production of his videotapes and installations. Viola's work has been exhibited widely internationally, including the Grand Palais in Paris, the National Gallery in London, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, among dozens of others.
The National Museum of Mexican Art, the most prominent Latino arts organization in the country, will present “Border Crossings: Mexico/USA” at EXPO CHICAGO 2014. Organized by Director of the National Museum of Mexican Art Carlos Tortelero and Mexico-based independent curator Margaret Failoni, the special exhibition brings together a group of young emerging artists from both sides of the border comparing the dichotomy between these two worlds as seen from each side. The selected artists interrogate how, if at all, the national roots of the artists influences the art. Curated by Failoni, selecting artists from Mexico, and artist Sergio Gomez, selecting artists from Chicago, “Border Crossings” will include work by Alfonso Piloto Nieves, Elsa Muñoz, Salvador Jimenez Flores, Ruben Aguirre, Luis Sahagun, Victoria Martinez, Daniela Edburg, Alejandra Mendoza, Francisco (Paco) Esnayra, Leonardo Diaz, Jayden Romay and Daniela Libertad.
Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC), a 40-year old nonprofit dedicated to building a sustainable marketplace for entrepreneurial artists and creatives by producing innovative programs, exhibitions and educational opportunities for practicing artists, patrons and the public will present a special exhibition highlighting their BOLT Residency program. BOLT Residency, a prestigious year-long studio residency that offers up to eleven artists dedicated studio space, a solo exhibition, one-on-one studio visits with leading professionals and community building, will exhibit resident artist Erik L. Peterson’s “Indulge Your Every Whim.” Chosen by Kate Nesin, curatorial advisor for the exhibition and Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Peterson’s suite of three sculptures entitled “Spill,” “Untitled (Flash wall)” and “Neon Pigeon”, work in tandem to dislodge the viewer’s body from their visual field through unexpected scale, reflective light and subversive humor. His work challenges the routine gestures and events of everyday life with wry wit while daring the viewer to complete the work with their own gaze and body.
Columbia College Chicago's student and alumni art boutique, ShopColumbia, features original designs created and inspired by Columbia artists. Spanning all media and disciplines, ShopColumbia is defined by what Columbia students are making right now. As an extension of the classroom and a laboratory for experimentation, the store supports students by providing a professional environment to learn the process of marketing and selling work, as well as a vibrant venue for earning income. For EXPO CHICAGO, ShopColumbia will expand on the learning laboratory model by presenting “Destination/Laboratory.” Distinguished Columbia College Chicago faculty will recommend emerging student and alumni artists from their institution featuring a diverse selection of illustration, fine art, photography, printmaking, paper arts and interdisciplinary artists.
CHGO DSGN, now on display at Exhibit Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center, is a major exhibition of Recent Object and Graphic Design by more than 200 of the city’s leading designers. Regarded as an international center for design, this retrospective, curated by Rick Valicenti, 2011 recipient of the prestigious Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, with displays designed by Tim Parsons, Associate Professor of Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, celebrates Chicago and the region’s creative and innovative spirit. As a reflection and enhancement to the current show at the Cultural Center, CHGO DESIGN will present 25 designers from the exhibit at EXPO CHICAGO. Each of the designers will have one work on display, some of which will be exclusive to EXPO while other works are shared with the original show. It will be a mix of objects, furniture, graphic wall pieces and video. The Chicago Cultural Center’s exhibition programs are generously supported by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).
As one of the nation’s leading private art restoration and conservation laboratories, The Conservation Center has cared for fine art from some of the country’s most prestigious museums, galleries, private collections, corporations and insurance companies. For EXPO CHICAGO 2014, The Conservation Center will once again present an educational booth complete with scientifically advanced tools and fantastic examples of contemporary artworks before, during and after treatment. The Conservation Center will also return to provide official conservation service for the fair—presenting cutting-edge techniques, materials, as well as innovations in the field addressing the unique needs of contemporary artwork.
Participating in their first contemporary art fair and only their second exhibition outside of their New York City gallery space, The FLAG Art Foundation, founded by art patron Glenn Fuhrman, will present “SHAQ LOVES PEOPLE,” an exhibition featuring portraits of people of various races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds by both emerging and established international artists, curated by 15-time NBA All-Star, Shaquille O’Neal. “SHAQ LOVES PEOPLE” marks the second collaboration with O’Neal as curator since FLAG’s exhibition “SIZE DOES MATTER” in 2010. Flag’s non-profit exhibition space encourages the appreciation of contemporary art among a diverse audience. FLAG hosts four to six curated shows per year featuring emerging and established artists in unique educational exhibition environments in which visitors can view, contemplate and engage in active dialogue with the artworks.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), a leading international human rights organization dedicated to defending and promoting human rights around the world, in partnership with Rhona Hoffman Gallery, returns to EXPO CHICAGO to present Chilean-born artist, architect, filmmaker and activist Alfredo Jaar’s “Teach Us to Outgrow Madness.” Created specifically for EXPO CHICAGO and inspired by the writing of Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe, Jaar’s piece highlights the responsibility of each generation to learn from those who came before. Once urgent and optimistic, the piece reflects the organization’s mission to protect human dignity wherever it is threatened.
Image above: Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness, 1995, by Alfredo Jaar
Hyde Park Art Center has been a leader in advancing contemporary visual art in Chicago since 1939. With an expansive reach and bold personality, the Art Center makes space for transparent interaction with art and the artistic process, inspiring creative exploration and encouraging exchange between audiences and Chicago artists. At EXPO CHICAGO, the Art Center will present a preview of their upcoming biennial exhibition “Ground Floor,” co-curated by the Art Center’s Committee Members Dawoud Bey (Chair), Michelle Grabner, Caroline Picard, Daniel Sauter, Director of Exhibitions Allison Peters Quinn, among others. The exhibition will feature the work of over twenty recent graduates from Chicago’s nationally ranked Master of Fine Arts programs, including Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Chicago and University of Illinois.
The International Sculpture Center (ISC) is a member-supported, nonprofit organization founded to champion the creation and understanding of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society. Returning to EXPO CHICAGO, ISC will produce an exhibition from its collection of artist supporters through their main fundraising program, ISC Art Sale Project: Sculptors Supporting Sculpture. Artwork on display will feature both prominent and emerging artists including Bernar Venet, Jaume Plensa, Kiki Smith, Jun Kaneko, Richard Dupont, Mark di Suvero, Chakaia Booker and Sanford Biggers, among others, who have donated work to the organization. All artwork for sale will directly support programming at ISC and the artists who donated work.
From woodcarving to storytelling to the “radicalization of the quilt,” the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC) is at the forefront of examining the historical relationship between contemporary art, folk art and craft. For their first Special Exhibitions project at EXPO CHICAGO, KMAC will present a “pop-up museum” installation featuring a working bar with vessels made by Louisville artist Matthew Cummings. The selection of works for this exhibition focuses on the communal bonds, be they of ritual, habit, or necessity, which have been shared over beverages. The transformation of booth to lounge encourages dialogue and intimacy among participants, opening up education and outreach components within the EXPO audience. This recent interest in the craft of the modern beverage with an emphasis on the social roles they acquire is further explored in the concurrent exhibition running at the KMAC entitled “Art of the Drink.” With the atmosphere of an open social café, the “pop-up museum” at EXPO will offer a departure point for talking about and engaging with the intersections between traditional craft mediums and contemporary art practices.
One of the oldest and largest dedicated sculpture parks in the United States, Laumeier Sculpture Park (LSP) is St. Louis, Missouri’s living laboratory where artists and audiences explore the relationship between contemporary art and the natural environment. While LSP has always worked beyond domestic borders, their two-part exhibition for EXPO CHICAGO seeks to multiply the organization’s geographic and cultural breadth. For their show “New Territories,” curated by Mark Coetzee, Dana Turkovic, Marilu Knode, and Beverly Adams, LSP will present an installation of video art spanning the BRICS region, an economic acronym that denotes the developing economies that are rapidly shaping the 21st century (Brazil, Russia and former satellites, India, China, and South Africa). While BRICS is often used as code for loss of American economic, social and political hegemony across the globe, this exhibition continues LSP’s investigation of how America has become the subject of artistic investigation by artists transnationally. As part of “New Territories,” LSP will also present “Raqs Media Collective,” a New Delhi-based cooperative of politically charged artistic and theoretical practice. Their publicly-engaged, interactive art piece is sparked by visits to Laumeier where their research on the problematic history of World Fairs began. Together, these programs expand and augment LSP’s on-going interest in projects based on “archaeology of place,” and continue a five year exhibition history using St. Louis as a research platform for both national and international artists to create new works that critically examine the politics of space and place through site-specific projects.
Founded by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China in 2011, The National Base for International Cultural Trade (NBICT) established itself as the country’s first platform at the national level for international cultural exchange. For EXPO CHICAGO, the NBICT will present a historical cross-section of watercolors from the Xiling Seal Art Society Cultural and Art Development Gallery, aiming to represent the direct dialogue between Chinese watercolor artists and Western formal values. The selected works on view explore the generational practices of Chinese watercolor painters over the last two hundred years, when watercolor was introduced to China by the West, observing the development of a distinct national aesthetic that has become an essential aspect of Chinese painting.
Continuing their partnership with EXPO CHICAGO, The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) returns to present the work of NRDC’s inaugural Artist-in-Residence Program participant, Chicago artist Jenny Kendler. Reflecting NRDC’s belief in the power of visual art to ignite meaningful, deep conversations surrounding the protection of the planet’s natural resources and environmental health, Kendler will exhibit her immersive installation, “Tell it to the Birds.” Conceived as an imaginative attempt to bridge the gap between human and animal minds, participants are invited to enter a darkened, dwelling-like dome to confess something to the natural world. Special audio-processing software “translates" their words into birdsong, heard both inside and outside the structure. The exhibit walls surrounding the dome are covered in lichen-camouflage wallpaper and adorned with delicate sculptures of birds, which Kendler creates by altering and 'rewilding' vintage porcelain figurines. These intimate, yet uncanny, sculptural works stand in for real-life bird species, threatened or endangered by environmental hazards like habitat loss, energy projects and climate change.
Joining EXPO for a third year, the Renaissance Society, a non-collecting museum of contemporary art on the campus of the University of Chicago, will present Raymond Pettibon’s “Thinking of You,” a collection of unique, hand-altered books that detail the artist’s intimate mediations on the many moods of the particularly delicate motif—the phallus. Pettibon creates plays on words and images to produce humorous juxtapositions, employing the phallus as a vehicle for his effusive irony and wit. For this special edition, the artist rekindles his steam, making an arbitrary number of ink and watercolor drawings in each of the eighty existing editions in rapid serial fashion, thirty of which will be on display at EXPO CHICAGO.
Image above: Thinking of you, 1998 - 1999, by: Raymond Pettibon
World renowned Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates will curate “Retreat” as a special exhibition for EXPO CHICAGO 2014, exploring the ways in which artists of color perform an act of withdrawal to gain a position of strength and perspective when communicating through art. Gates proposes a site-specific installation by artists Erika Allen and Mitchell Squire as a satellite show to his exhibition of the same name taking place between Valerie Carberry and Richard Gray galleries within the Hancock Building, extending the thesis of “Retreat” to the EXPO audience. The booth will be a combination of architectural elements and living green structures created by Allen and Squire to create a space of retreat within the art fair—an interactive space that invites conversation and contemplation. The booth will also feature the launch of the exhibition publication “Retreat,” featuring essay contributions by Associate Curator at the Renaissance Society Hamza Walker, and Associate Professor in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Romi Crawford.
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leading institution in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. Curated by artist and Assistant Professor in the Painting and Drawing department at SAIC, José Lerma, SAIC’s exhibition at EXPO CHICAGO will exemplify this multifaceted approach, featuring work from the diverse studio departments the school has to offer spanning the Painting and Drawing, Sculpture, Photography, Performance, and Film, Video, New Media, and Animation departments, among others. Heads from each department will nominate their strongest Master of Fine Arts candidates to be considered for the exhibition. Lerma’s selections will feature some of the most talented young artists producing work in Chicago today.
Founded in 2003, Threewalls is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing Chicago’s cultural capital by cultivating contemporary art practice and discourse. For EXPO CHICAGO, Threewalls will feature a selection of works produced for Community Supported Art Chicago, a yearly art subscription program that commissions Chicago artists to create innovative artworks in limited editions. Editions will include work by David Hartt, Jan Tichy, Cauleen Smith, William Cordova and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung. A new edition by Chicago-based artist Claire Pentecost titled “Standard Spoil” will also be on view, consisting of sanded and engraved chunks of Carrara marble salvaged from the original façade of “Big Stan,” the Standard Oil building constructed in 1973. Pentecost’s edition is at once a relic of an infamous architectural blunder, a tongue-in-cheek critique of corporate hubris, and a clever exploration of Carrara marble’s history as a decorative material and a symbol of political upheaval.
Currently in its 15th year, Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) is a visual and performing arts community junior and senior high school focused on providing a high-quality, college preparatory curriculum and experience to prepare life-long learners with a passion for the arts. At EXPO CHICAGO, TSA will present a cross-section of student, alumni and faculty work as a “journey” from the beginning of the educational process to beyond graduation. TSA has partnered with many of Toledo’s major cultural institutions including the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Ballet, Toledo Repertoire Theatre, Toledo Opera, and the Toledo Symphony, among others, and offers students opportunities to work with professional artists and complete internships with major cultural institutions.
Established in 1879, the Union League Club of Chicago has been a contributing partner in the growth and development of Chicago. Only seven years after it was founded, the Club began acquiring its own art collection. The Art Committee stated in its acquisition policy that “art should be of its time,” and most of the art purchased was by living artists. For EXPO CHICAGO, the Club has assembled a museum-quality collection that tells the unique story of art in Chicago—both past and present. Today there are more than 800 works of art in the collection, including a variety of media—paintings, photographs, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts—that represents over 150 years of art making in America. The Club’s collection presents a diverse range of art movements and styles, from neoclassicism, realism, and impressionism to modernism, abstraction, Chicago Imagism, and contemporary trends. To convey the breadth and diversity of one of Chicago’s oldest private art collections, this exhibition will feature a selection of paintings that aesthetically and conceptually connect important American contemporary artists and ideas to their historical counterparts.
Image above: Brownie, 1995, Kerry James Marshall
The University of Chicago Headquarters fronts several organizations at the University of Chicago that offer contemporary art exhibitions and programs, including the Department of Visual Arts, Logan Center Exhibitions and the Smart Museum of Art, as well as the Arts + Public Life Initiative and the Department of Art History. At EXPO CHICAGO, the University of Chicago Headquarters foregrounds the work of two recent MFA alumni, Anaïs Daly and Katherine Harvath. Using a selection from the University of Chicago Press's recent publications Anaïs Daly considers the modalities of display as they relate to sculptural form. Daly will also be exhibiting a portion of her ongoing multi-media project “endnotes” which deals speculatively with notions of extinction. Katherine Harvath looks into Navy Pier’s transformation from a militaristic to recreational venue, adding historical layers of site-specificity to her investigation of painting as a political form. This exhibition is organized by University of Chicago's Department of Visual Arts' Open Practice Committee Coordinator Zachary Cahill and Logan Center for the Arts Program Curator Monika Szewczyk.
Challenging the current events that have recently brought worldwide attention to Lithuania, EXPO CHICAGO, Vytautas Magnus University’s (VMU) Gallery 101 and The Art Fund have organized an exhibition of works to introduce Lithuania and the Baltic region to the international art world. The works of Rimas Čiurlionis (USA) and Laima Oržekauskienė (Lithuania) will be brought together for the first time in this joint Special Exhibition. While their expressions and forms differ, the artists share a similar philosophical and ethical world view. There is no noise, no protest and no affectation in their works, but rather an aim to touch the stories of world wisdom. Both artists see their work as a space for concentrated reflection, a dialogue between the work and the viewer, a meditation.
Gallery 101, established in 2008, is located as part of the VMU campus in Kaunas, Lithuania. Dedicated to serving the public of Kaunas as well as the university community, the Gallery is a non-profit art institution geared toward an interdisciplinary interpretation of art and culture. The primary mission of the Gallery is to support and enhance the university’s goals of teaching, research, and service. The Art Fund is a non-profit organization based in Vilnius, Lithuania that was established in order to increase awareness of and promote interest in the work of Lithuanian artists and, by extension, artists of the Baltic region.
Founded in 1988, Vox Populi is an artist collective based in Philadelphia that works to support the challenging and experimental work of under-represented artists with monthly exhibitions, gallery talks, performances, lectures and related programming. For EXPO CHICAGO, Vox Populi presents contemporary works from a representative cross-section of current organization members including Timothy Belknap, Stephanie Bursese, Maria Dumlao, Kelsey Halliday Johnson, Sharon Koelblinger, Christopher Manzione, Jay Muhlin, Erin Murray, Erica Prince, Alexander Rosenberg, Mark Stockton, Becky Suss, and Kristen Neville Taylor—providing a window into the dynamic Philadelphia art scene.
Playing a central role in London’s cultural landscape and a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, Whitechapel Gallery has developed an exceptional portfolio of affordable limited editions as part of its fundraising initiative which help to support the galleries educational programming. Leading artists including Theaster Gates, Linder, Goshka Macuga, Shinro Ohtake, Giulio Paolini, Luke Fowler, Laure Prouvost, and Richard Tuttle have made beautiful but affordable artworks exclusively for the Whitechapel Gallery that will be on view at EXPO CHICAGO.
Image above: The Map, 2014, Richard Tuttle